Edited by Michiel Bliemer, Corinne Mulley and Claudine J. Moutou
Chapter 8: Reliability and robustness of transport systems
The value of time has increased in recent years owing to enhanced economic activity and improvements in quality of life. Hence, the reliability and robustness of transport networks has become an increasingly important issue. Transport systems, however, may not be able to provide a consistently stable and reliable service. The level of service that can be provided may vary according to the fluctuation of both demand and capacity, and may sometimes fall below the level that is required. It is therefore crucial to understand and evaluate the potential variation in the level of service, and provide improvements to create a more stable and reliable service. Such analysis is generally called transport network reliability analysis. Although the concept of transport network reliability analysis was first proposed in the 1960s, it is only since 2000 that its importance has been recognized, and relevant academic books and articles have been published (for example, Bell and Cassir 2000; Bell and Iida 2003). ‘Reliability’ is defined in system engineering as ‘the ability of a system or component to function under stated conditions for a specified period of time’. In transport systems, ‘reliability’ can be defined as ‘the ability of a transport system to provide a predetermined level of service for a specified period of time’.
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